Anyone who’s been following IxDG list in the past couple weeks has probably caught Jef Raskin taking the interaction design world to task on a number of points. Here are some excerpts of him from a recent discussion on UI guidelines:
The Windows UI guidelines are self-contradictory at points (e.g.
recommending noun-verb interaction but going the other way at times), and lead to the kind of interfaces we all hate. To be an HCI expert and to adhere to the Windows guidelines is, in my opinion, unethical.
“The Mac interface is hardly better than Windows. The differences are mostly trivial. I have written a number of critiques of it. You ask for alternative guidelines: Have you seen my book?”
I had mixed feelings while reading these comments. Certainly, I share some of Raskin’s frustrations about the slow pace of innovation in interaction design, but I also recognize the very real pressures that lead us to stick to standards. While most designers see standard interaction metaphors as helping to make an interface “intuitive”, Raskin feels that being “intuitive” simply means being “familiar” and is ultimately an unfortunate indicator that a product is merely status quo.
Today, I submitted my MSc thesis and, with the assumption that I pass that requirement, I have officially completed my MSc program. To celebrate, I’m going to get some sleep and then disappear for a week and a half. While I’m away, we’ll have a guest article for you from someone whose book I highly recommend you check out. We hope to have more guest articles from industry experts every so often that focus on what I call “The Lighter Side of HCI”. Of course, Tom will also be here holding the fort. See you guys in a couple of week!